4 thoughts on “Town Re-Applies for Relief from Affordable Housing Law

  1. People interested in this issue should go into the Town Clerks office and read the document. In terms of actual physical structures it appears nothing has changed (we are still talking about the same Millport and Canaan Parish projects).
    The town, in its application, does a nice job of including the original plans and approvals for the projects, drawn up in part by the now lawyer for 751 Weed Street, which were a basis for the original investments by the town.
    We know when people started to move into Canaan Parish phase 1 (i.e. when the temporary certificate of occupancy was issued), which appears to be a basis for calculations in this application, and we know all about Covid and the delays to that project.
    So in a sense this appears to be old news and old investments but repackaged to deal with the State and its response to previous moratorium applications. It would be surprising if the State denied this application but we have seen many surprising things in all of this.
    Here are a few questions the town should answer:
    1) Why is this application being done now – my impression was the planned Affordable Housing Committee had 8-30g moratoriums pretty front and center as a responsibility?
    2) Are we still going to have an affordable housing committee and if so what will the mandate be and when will they start?
    3) Why do we need to raise 25 signatures to have a meeting on this issue i.e. why is the town not proactive and just call a town meeting and go through what the plan is with regards to this application and affordable housing in general?
    4) Is the town in reality giving up on its previous investments in Millport with regards to credit toward future moratoriums and if so what is the size of this investment that will now not be credited to future 8-30g moratoriums (essentially a write off)? Does the town have legal recourse to sue for damages for any bad legal advise that formed a basis for that investment in the first place?
    5) When the Governor was here in November did he signal that the State now understood the situation we are in and their role in it, and would be helpful / constructive starting with this revised moratorium? Where any connections / deals made between the $2m for the playhouse and our affordable housing 8-30g issue?

    • Thanks Giacomo. To me this feels like a very clear break between the approaches of the last administration and this one—after all, as you note, the prior first selectman could have filed this same application months ago. Yet he was determined to “win” the denial lawsuit that eventually was dismissed, and even instructed the town attorney’s office to file the silly follow-up suit regarding the declaratory ruling, as if that would save face. I don’t think First Selectman Dionna Carlson and the town planner need any go-ahead from an Affordable Housing Committee to file this, and I wouldn’t think residents would want further delays in securing a moratorium, because you have to start the clock at the state level. It’s a no-brainer. Separately: You mention “Covid and the delays” with the Canaan Parish project, however, we all know (because we wrote about it) that the financing problems with Canaan Parish emerged a year before the onset of the pandemic. It’s why the town can never claim it would have secured a moratorium had it not been for COVID-19. We will have an opportunity to discuss all of this freely at tomorrow morning’s coffee (they’ve scheduled a Board of Selectmen meeting at the same time for some reason). Hope you can make it.

      • I have lived long enough and observed enough to wonder when documents like this get dropped over the Christmas break and people are lined up to say do not delay the process after all this time that has passed I wonder why.
        I think the claim (not that I agree) by the developer of the proposed 3 projects in town will be that those projects are ‘grandfathered’ no matter what happens to this or the previous moratorium applications makes me question even more the ‘need for speed’ as that will essentially lock in that developers exclusive position as the sole negotiating partner with the town on large scale housing projects now and for the next 4 or more years. Perhaps this was the strategy all along by proposing 3 developments at the same time. Instead we need to get to some form of completeness in this saga (which I thought was the intention of the affordable housing committee in the first place) otherwise we just move each chess piece one at a time without an overall strategy.
        I also have a conflict tomorrow morning for your coffee and if I can’t change it I will be there in spirit – you have a flavor of my views – I hope it is a spirited discussion :-).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *